Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ratings and Rantings

Hey everyone, Jason Todd here with another edition of Ratings and Rantings! This week's post only has three comics to review, and all are DC comics, but each of them has a ton of potential. We've got Power Girl written by one of my favorite writers, Judd Winick. Also by Judd we've got Batman and Robin #23 which features the return of my favorite character, Jason Todd, so you KNOW I can't wait to read that. And last but not least we have the amazing Scott Snyder's Batman: Gates of Gotham which features Batman (Dick), Robin, Red Robin and Cassandra Cain! So with three comics but a ton of talent involved, this should be a great post, or so I hope. And since I don't have anymore witty banter to stall with, let's jump right into these reviews!

Batman: Gates of Gotham #1 of 5

Awesome cover by Trevor McCarthy with the Bat-Family in the pane glass windows behind Batman. Everyone from Damian to Babs, Steph, Catwoman, Cass Cain, Tim, Jason, Alfred, Huntress and more. We start things off with Alan Wayne and a few of his colleagues looking over plans for Gotham City to be built. We then jump forward to see Batman trying to get information out of a man named Ronnie, who was at the Gotham harbor when someone brought in three-hundred pounds of Semtex. Well damn... anyway the guy spills that it was Penguin who brought it in, but as he does a bridge blows up. Batman radios to Red Robin and tells him the new Trigate Bridge blew up, but Red Robin replies it's not just Trigate, it's a trio of bridges also including 22nd Street and Madison. Batman tells Red Robin to take whichever is worse and he'll see what he can do at New Trigate. Batman manages to save a few lives but the end result seems to be thirty-one dead and twenty-five being hospitalized with concussions and/or burns. When talking to Commissioner Gordon, Batman mentions that Ronnie pointed the finger at Penguin before the explosions but it doesn't seem like a Two-Face crime. Gordon mentions he should lean on him anyway and Batman says he will. Batman checks in with Red Robin for clues but Tim hasn't found anything either. Dick then mentions that the trigger man says "The Families of the Gates of Gotham will fall", to which Tim let's Dick know that the bridges used to be called "The Gates" back in the day. Batman then pays Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot a visit, questioning him about the Semtex. Penguin denies that he did the explosions because he has no intention of blowing up a bridge that has his name. He reveals that Madison bridge was originally called "Cobblepot Pass." Batman recites that the trigger man said The families of the Gates of Gotham will fall and then used explosives Cobblepot helped him get to take out his bridge. Penguin tells Bats he never met the man but he hears he wears a rather interesting costume. Dick later meets with Tim to discuss their findings at the Bat-Bunker, and surprisingly, Cassandra Cain shows up. She mentions she was the one chasing the Semtex in Hong Kong and she should have been able to stop it. Damian then enters the room as they explain that the Wayne's are the family behind the New Trigate bridge, and the bridge on 22nd Street's heritage belongs to none other than the Elliot's, the family of Thomas "Hush" Elliot. The issue ends with us seeing Hush in Arkham being approached by someone in a costume asking if he'd like to come out and play. Awesome! I liked this comic, it was slow and methodical but built up well, plus it has Hush and after his treatment in the last few years I hope our boy Scott Snyder can give him a push in the right direction. I'll give this issue a 8/10 rating.

Batman: What is this, pleather? You know how flimsy that gets in the rain?

Power Girl #24

Power Girl starts with a very interesting story about an Arab-American man who's on a plane when it starts to go down to to engine failure. It turns out the man is a meta-human and has never told a soul about his powers and doesn't want to stand out. He does decide to use his powers and level out the plane to save all the passengers, including himself. He says he's aware that people would try to blame him or say he took down the plane but saving everyone is more important than that, and as he saves them, everyone looks out the window and would know they were safe thanks to the heroes who'd also stopped the plane from crashing, Batman, and Power Girl. Once they landed our Arab-American hero, Rayhan, was blamed as a terrorist and arrested, and six months later he's still in custody for something he didn't do. He's been denied an attorney and no one believes his story. They continue to interrogate him but he never changes his story, he's just a man who was afraid to use his powers because he knew people would fear him because of who he is. He asks if his father is okay since they've given him no outside contact, and wants nothing but to know if his father is okay, and he's told they'll see if they can find out, but they don't usually reward people who don't give them answers. We then see that the newly red-head Karen Starr's company, Starrware, is making huge rounds in the news. This leads to Karen Starr having a National Security Agent put with her which drives her insane because she's not used to having someone tell her what to do. She complains about it to Batman later to which he replies this is her fault. She's made Karen Starr a smart, powerful and media-savvy woman and she's now one shaved head away from being  Lex Luthor, which has led to her being watched. But Batman says the world needs a Karen Starr, and that he'll help her anyway he can, which leads to us seeing Karen Starr attending a red carpet benefit with none-other than Bruce Wayne. We then see Rayhan in prison still, asking to see his father, but his guard deny him the chance. He says that from what they've told him he'll die soon, and they can send as many guards or put as many power dampeners on him they have to, but he wants to see his father, but they still deny him. We see that Rayhan has been able to break out at anytime but he hasn't out of respect for this country, but upon being told he couldn't see his dying father, that's as the final straw, so he bust out of the prison. Rayhan gets to the hospital and wants to see his father but they won't let him up without I.D., he says they can send security with him but he wants to see his father, but he's suddenly swooped up by Power Girl. She holds him while Batman moves in to put a power dampener on him but Rayhan fights back which takes Batman and Power Girl by surprise as the issue ends. I LOVED this issue. The storyline is genius, a nice guy who has power is immediately viewed as a terrorist because he tried to help and all because of his race. It's sad but a true thing in our society and Judd did an excellent job of putting us in Rayhan's shoes, a man who did nothing wrong and paid the price, I'll give this issue a 9.5/10.

Batman: You're a shaved head away from being Lex Luthor. You're going to be watched.
Power Girl: I guess it would be easier if I pretended I was a drunk playboy.
Batman: It would. But not nearly as effective.

Batman and Robin #23

And now the moment I've been waiting for, Batman and Robin #23, written by Judd Winick, the Return of Jason Todd. We start things off seeing Batman, Nightwing and Robin, Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson and Jason Todd catching a few criminals. While we see this we hear Batman and Nightwing discussing Jason, and both seem to have a lot of faith in the second Robin. In the end, Batman tells Nightwing that Jason is Robin, and he needs him to be the best he can be. We then jump forward to see The Red Hood, inmate number 357-428 (the first and last issues Jason appeared in as Robin), in a holding cell with Batman (Bruce Wayne) staring back at him. Jason has red hair, meaning the Morrison thing will stay in continuity, but I don't mind it because he kinda looks like Roy with long hair, it makes no sense but I won't mention it anymore because I'd just get annoyed. Anyway, Jason welcomes Bruce back to the land of the living, saying he knew he wasn't dead anyway, because Bruce wouldn't go out like that. Jason talks about what he remembers on his return to the land of the living, before asking Bruce how he is. Batman gets straight to business and mentions Jason asked for a transfer from Arkham to a correctional facility, which peeves Jason a bit, because he wants a talk before they get down to business, he even asks how Damian's mom is. Interesting... Bats tells Jason he's in Arkham for his safety, and Jason replies that Arkham is for the criminally insane, and he isn't insane, in fact he killed criminals. Jason says he's not insane, he's homicidal, and he will kill again, so lock him up with criminals, not in Batman's kennel for freaks. We then see Dick and Damian talking to Bruce in the Bat-Bunker, as Dick asks why Jason would want to go to a correctional facility where he'll have to fight off all the enemies he's made over the years. Bruce tells them because Jason has a plan, and they need to be prepared, because by the time they figure out what it is, it'll be too late. From there we see Jason showering when he's cornered by some goons, one of which had their brother killed by The Red Hood. Jason doesn't seem to be worried and even throws a few barbs their way which only upsets them further as Jason leaves. Later we see the main guy that was trying to confront Jason has been hanged in his cell, obviously that would point at Jason being his killer. While out reading during recreational time, Jason is attacked by a few prisoners, one with a shiv. Jason, being the well-trained Bat-family member he is, defends himself and makes even more enemies in the process. Over time we see more and more people try to take Jason out, he apparently has a price on his head, but they each end up dead. Over in Gotham, Batman and Robin take down a gang and overhear that their leader has committed suicide while locked up. Batman then calls the Warden, upset that he hadn't been contacted like he told the Warden to do if any problems arose. Meanwhile there's been nine suicides and six murders since the Red Hood was transferred there. The Warden tells Batman that 82 prisoners are now dead and over a hundred are ill due to poison in the food and that he suspects Red Hood after finding poison in the food. Batman says he's on the way but the Warden says The Red Hood has been moved back to Arkham and is currently en route. We see Jason as he talks about how he's always loved trouble, and how if you put him in a building with a bunch of criminals that deserve death and think he's gonna behave himself than you don't know him to well, and now he's on his way back to Arkham, unless something else comes up. Suddenly the squad cars escorting him are blown up and all the guards escorting Jason are killed. Jason asks who the hell just killed everyone and we see some giant animals toting guns for some reason and say their the ones breaking Jason out as the issue ends. Well that was weird. I loved the beginning with Bats, and I was hoping Jason would be redeemed but I'm not surprised he killed all those criminals, it's what he's been doing for years now. I don't know what to think about the whole, Jason being broken out by talking animals or whatever but I enjoyed most of the issue up until that point, PLUS I'm a big Jason fan so I'll give this a 8/10 and hope Judd has a plan for where this is going.

Jason Todd: You look good. And I don't just mean that because you were dead.

And just like that, three comics have come and gone. That's all for me this weeks guys and gals, thanks for reading and as always comments are appreciated. Below are the results for last week's poll and be sure to vote on the newer poll as well whenever I get a chance to put it up. Until next time, I'm your friendly neighborhood Blogger-Man, Jason Todd, signing off. You stay classy Todd Squad!

Last week's poll asked "Which Brightest Day character's series are you looking forward to the most?"

Last place with 0% - Swamp Thing and Firestorm... sad... just plain sad. Champion eh?
Second place with 12.5% - Aquaman and None of them... That's a pretty bad look for Aquaman too..
Winner with a whomping 75% - Justice League Generation Lost, so get Judd on it and let's go!

Next Time on Ratings and Rantings

Deadpool #37, Venom #3, Gotham City Sirens #23, Green Lantern #66, Green Lantern Corps. #60, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10,


  1. Check you out feeding the beast with all those GL issues next week, JT! For shame...

    I think we were pretty much right on track with what our thoughts here. I think I was a half-point to a point away from you in both Gates and B&R. I still expect HUGE things from them both, but they def could have been better. I see you're still trying to get me to buy Power Girl... And with awesome scores like that, you may yet win me over! I still think my best bet is to just start picking up PG with whenever the next storyline is and just read your reviews to fill in the blanks. Because otherwise, I'll never get started.

    Other then that, good stuff as always, although I kind of want to make you talk more about Jason's hair just to get you annoyed! :P

  2. DUDE. Did you hear about the possibility of DC rebooting all of their series'? I'm not one to believe rumors like this, but I'm kind of scared. No July or August solicitations for Green Lantern ongoing series. Coincidence? I think not. And if they were canceling it, I think they'd tell everyone way ahead of time. Plus just about every other ongoing series is finishing up story arcs or are having epilogues the same month. Again: Coincidence? I think not.
    But maybe I'm going crazy.

    Also, I think that I have officially decided Flashpoint is worth the $3.99/issue. I completely understand your lack of faith, but I have to say that you might want to think about checking out some of the issues. But, then again, committing to an event after one issue is crazy so I'm not going to...yet. Hahaha.

    I cannot wait for the Justice League International series. And this also ties in with the possible reboot of every series... Justice League International, Aquaman, Red Lantern Corps... All starting in the same month (more than likely). I doubt they would randomly decide to start 3 new series on their own... DC isn't THAT bad at business.

  3. Lol, I said I'd finish the mini-series and I shall, unlike that DREADFUL Doomsday storyline.

    I say you pick up the issue I reviewed then X, nice jumping on point and great story, but yeah... Judd is writing the next two then at least the two after that are by a different writer...

    Thanks for the comment, and no, I shall not discuss it, I'll clutter YOUR blog for that :P

    Caz - If DC does that, I'll be done with them. I HIGHLY doubt it, I mean, because Batman Inc I'd think has to continue at least, I could see them rebooting Wondy again and Flash I guess but most of that stuff would be pointless, I really hope they don't do that crap. Glad ya liked Flashpoint, but I can't read a comic where Cyborg is the greatest hero in the world, that just irks me.

  4. Well done job Mr. JT, well done. Glad to see the scores for this week, especially Power Girl. Sounds like a really good issue. And as for the return of Jason Todd, I'm glad he's back. And I don't know what the big fuss is, but I'm loving the red hair. I think it's quite sexy. Lol.

    Can't wait for next weeks Ratings & Rantings.

    @ Caz, I really hope DC doesn't decide to revamp stuff. They've already screwed up Wonder Woman. :-\

  5. Why thank ya, glad you enjoyed my post. Lol so you're a fan of the red hair eh? Personally I don't see why so many people with black hair would hang out joking. Anyway glad ya enjoyed everything :D

  6. I'm almost hoping for a reboot of every series. Just restart with issue 1. Excluding Batman, Superman, Action Comics, and Detective Comics... I could use a Wonder Woman reboot right about now. xD

    If you read the main 5-issue mini-series, I think #1 is the only issue you see Cyborg as a main character in. And that was to purely set up for the mini-series. I dunno. I think it's not a bad idea at all.

  7. You're welcome JT. And yes I am a fan of the red hair, lol. Hell she could've been a brunette, just the fact that she has a secret identity puts her on the level of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman, three of the greatest. Can't mix business with the pleasure of being a super hero, gotta set boundaries lol.

    @Caz "I could use a Wonder Woman reboot right about now. xD" You are so right about that.

  8. I wouldn't mind reboots of SOME things, Wondy, Teen Titans, Outsiders and whatnot, but yeah, some books, like the major ones should stay untouched.

    Well from what I've read Cyborg is the Superman of that universe since Supes never showed up, and that annoys me because I've seen him disassembled like the damn Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz.

    That is a good point Lisha, a lot of characters don't even have secret identities, or if they do you never really see them assume that role much.

  9. Well Supes makes it, but he gets taken in by the government and locked away. Hence... "Project Superman". I think it's about time Cyborg becomes a major DC character. He deserves it. He hasn't been in much of anything ever since he left the Titans and his JLA co-feature ended.

  10. Yeah, I'm aware of the whole Project Superman thing but I was referring to how Cyborg took his spot as America's main superhero. Cyborg is pretty overrated to me, I've never been a big fan of the character personally but that's my opinion.

  11. I guess. It just seems like someone you wouldn't expect to be in the limelight and that's who is there. It was probably the best decision out of every character that's out for DC. Think of every B-, C-, or D-List character that's in the DCU (that's a hero). Which one would be better than Cyborg and be able to work. I think it wasn't a TERRIBLE idea, but it wasn't the best idea.

  12. I've heard rumors about a company-wide reboot as well. Between that and the fact that DC is only shipping one comic on the final week of August (the last issue of Flashpoint), I really don't understand their marketing decisions right now.

    Anyway, you struck on one of the things I really like about Judd Winick in your Power Girl review, JT. I like that he brings in topical issues (in this case, racism towards Arab-Americans) and tells a good story with them without being overly preachy.

  13. Yeah, I don't know what is going to happen with DC anymore. I'll stick around long enough to see the end of Flashpoint and then see what happens from there. If they do reboot EVERY comic, I'll probably head on over to Marvel or Image for my comic book needs besides any trades like Lost Days (which I really need to get) or For Tomorrow (which I also really need to get).

  14. By "For Tomorrow," do you mean the Superman storyline? Because if so, I would strongly caution you against that...the art's nice, but the story is absolutely incoherent. In all honesty, it's one of the worst things I've ever read. If you're looking for a good Superman story, I'm sure that either I or someone else here could recommend you something far better!

  15. I dunno. I've heard it's good. But otherwise, I wouldn't know. But it's Jim Lee art, so I don't think I can pass that up. I literally will spend the $25-30 just to have another graphic novel full of Lee art.

    I don't really like Superman all that much. He's just too...overplayed. In my eyes, anyway. He's like the Spider-Man of DC. He's like the guy everyone thinks of when they think of DC along with Batman. It's kinda cliche.